When Dr Mark Reeve’s parents founded Tea Tree Gully Vet almost four decades ago, the plan was to provide pet lovers in an underserviced part of South Australia with quality care for their four-legged friends.
Over the years the veterinary hospital became a fixture in the local community, with 1000s of pets and their owners crossing the threshold in search of a friendly ear or assistance for their animals at a time of need. When Mark’s parents decided to call it a day, rather than wind up the practice, the South Australian vet says he knew it was time to take the reins.
Having literally grown up in the business Mark tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) he wanted to ensure that the continuity of care continued for his community of patients.
“We have grown and matured into a Veterinary Hospital that serves multiple generations of the same family and their pets,” says Mark.
“I didn’t want to lose that connection with my clients and their furry family, so when mum and dad were ready to retire, taking over felt like a natural decision.”
Originally established as a vet clinic for mainly cats and dogs – the hospital has evolved to also specialise in care for pocket pets, like rabbits and guinea pigs. The practice has also grown exponentially over the years. After a facelift in the mid-nineties which saw it relocate across the road to new premise the vet hospital also became the biggest in the area and one of the largest vets in the state.
“We offer excellence in service with consistent family care. Our purpose is to make sure our client’s pets are treated in the way they deserve to be,” Mark explains.
Mark believes many of the practice’s patients take comfort in the longstanding relationship they have with Tea Tree Gully Vet Hospital.
“I love having been a part of this business my whole life, and I know that reassures our clients. Pets can’t speak so the level of trust between pet parents and their vet needs to be high,” he says.
He’s suitably chuffed that this year the practice has come up trumps as one of the finalists in Kochie’s Business Builders Australia’s Favourite Family Business Competition.
“It feels like recognition of the success of family business in an industry that is often being dominated by corporate faceless medicine,” he explains.
2020 has been a challenging year for business owners, and Tea Tree Gully Vets has also weathered the effects of COVID-19. With the practice operational throughout the duration of the pandemic, Mark tells KBB stress amongst his team has been high.
“We’ve had to work through the whole period with a heightened emotional state of the pet owners. We have had a real focus on resistance, running a two-month major focus on this and changing workflow to keep the volume of work coming in under control with room for unexpected emergencies,” he says.
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